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    ‘Yellowstone’ season 5 finally has a return date. Here’s what we know, and whether Kevin Costner will be back.

    Kevin Costner has played John Dutton in “Yellowstone” since it began, but there are now questions over his involvement in season five’s final run of episodes.

    Paramount Network

    “Yellowstone” has been hit by several setbacks, delaying the release of its final episodes.
    It resumed filming in May and will return to Paramount Network on November 10.
    There’s a question mark over whether Kevin Costner will reprise his role as protagonist John Dutton.

    It’s official: “Yellowstone” will be wrapping up its fifth and final season later this year.

    The series, co-created by Taylor Sheridan and John Linson, centers on John Dutton (Kevin Costner), an aging rancher who spends his life maintaining and protecting his family’s land and legacy in the face of myriad threats.

    The first eight episodes of season five began airing on the Paramount Network in late 2022 before the cliffhanger midseason finale dropped on January 1, 2023.

    Since then, fans of the series have been desperately waiting to find out what happens next — but the show has faced setback after setback.

    First, reports of a falling out between Costner and Sheridan suggested the show would be coming to a premature end with what has aired so far because the two couldn’t agree on the shooting schedule for new episodes.

    Paramount then announced “Yellowstone” would officially conclude with the second half of the fifth season, which was scheduled to air in the fall of 2023. However, the Hollywood writers’ strike that began in May and the actors’ strike in July delayed production further.

    On May 20, Paramount announced that “Yellowstone” had begun filming in Montana. And on June 20, the network confirmed that the Dutton family saga will come to a close this year, with the final batch of episodes set to premiere on November 10.

    Here’s everything we know about “Yellowstone” season 5, part 2 so far.

    Whether or not Costner will return as John Dutton is still up in the air.Kevin Costner as John Dutton in “Yellowstone” season five.

    Paramount Network

    It seems inconceivable that the final episodes won’t feature Costner, given that he is the show’s protagonist, but it appears that could be the case if a new contract is not negotiated. 

    Last year, the 69-year-old actor revealed via court documents related to his recent divorce that he is “no longer under contract” for the drama and wasn’t expecting to receive any further monetary compensation from the series apart from “back-end contractual participation rights.”

    When he later took the stand at a child support hearing, the Oscar winner said that a “long, hard-fought negotiation” about breaking season five into two parts was behind his exit, as it clashed with plans for his four-part Western saga, “Horizon.” 

    At the time, he stated his intentions to take the show’s producers to court over a pay dispute.

    More recently, Costner has changed tack. Speaking to Entertainment Tonight in April, he said he’d “love” to be able to return to the show to wrap things up for his character, but no decisions had yet been made.

    And in June, he said that he would still consider returning.

    “I’ve always felt that… It might be an interesting moment to come back and finish the mythology of this modern-day family,” he told People. “And if that happens, I would step into it if I agreed with how it was being done.”

    But the actor told People that “in the very end, I couldn’t do it for more than I had already done.”

    The Hollywood Reporter reported in June that Costner was still unattached to the new batch of episodes at the time they began filming in May. 

    The rest of the main cast are expected to return.The cast of “Yellowstone.”

    Paramount Network

    There may be a question mark hovering around Costner’s status on the show, but the rest of the cast will likely return. 

    That means audiences can expect to see John’s business-minded daughter Beth (Kelly Reilly), his adopted lawyer son Jamie (Wes Bentley), and the youngest and most wayward of the siblings, Kayce (Luke Grimes), all back at the ranch.

    However, Reilly, Grimes, and Cole Hauser, who plays John’s right-hand man, have requested significant pay increases to return, per a report from Puck’s Matthew Belloni.

    Paramount and 101 Studios are said to have pushed back on the proposed new salaries, which come close to the $1.3 million per episode Costner was paid during the first half of season five. No update has been given about their salary negotiations since February 2024.

    Alongside them, there is also John’s new girlfriend, Summer (Piper Perabo), his daughter-in-law Monica (Kelsey Asbille), and his long-standing adversary, Thomas Rainwater (Gil Birmingham).

    Lastly, there’s the ragtag group of ranch hands who make the Dutton spread what it is: Lloyd (Forrie J. Smith), Ryan (Ian Bohen), Teeter (Jennifer Landon), and Walker (Ryan Bingham).

    Taylor Sheridan has hinted that “Yellowstone” will end with John Dutton’s demise.”Yellowstone” creator Taylor Sheridan (L) and Kevin Costner (R).

    Ethan Miller/Getty Images, Paramount Network

    In a June 2023 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the series cocreator hinted that the ending of “Yellowstone” will see Costner’s character killed off.

    Sheridan said that the “Field of Dreams” star’s decision to leave the show “truncates the closure of his character,” but added that the character’s fate and the ending of the show had been planned since the early days of “Yellowstone.”

    Even before it was revealed that Costner has a “moral death” clause in his “Yellowstone” contract that prevents his character from dying in a way that would be embarrassing, Sheridan made it clear that John wouldn’t be meeting his maker in that particular way.

    Sheridan said audiences won’t see John die in a conveniently timed car crash, like Patrick Dempsey’s character on “Grey’s Anatomy,” or his own on “Sons of Anarchy.”

    “I don’t do fuck-you car crashes,” the “Wind River” director said of the technique often employed by writers as a way to kill off characters amid behind-the-scenes tension.

    However, there’s now a question of whether John’s death will have to occur off-screen if Costner does not return to film scenes.

    The second half of season five could be longer than originally announced.Beth Dutton (Kelly Reilly) and Jamie Dutton (Wes Bentley) in “Yellowstone” season five.

    Paramount Network

    While speaking to The Hollywood Reporter about the show’s final run, Sheridan revealed that the number of episodes is not set in stone and that should it take more than six episodes to conclude the story, that wouldn’t be an issue with Paramount bosses.

    “If I think it takes 10 episodes to wrap it up, they’ll give me 10,” he said. “It’ll be as long as it needs to be.”

    Kelly Reilly has predicted that her character, Beth, will somehow lose Rip.Beth Dutton (Kelly Reilly) and Rip Wheeler (Cole Hauser) in “Yellowstone” season five.

    Paramount Network

    In a featurette clip that appears on the Blu-ray and DVD release of “Yellowstone” season five, part one, Reilly spoke about where she sees her character’s storyline going and cast doubt on Beth and Rip’s (Cole Hauser) future together.

    “Beth is haunted by her past. She has a lot of regrets and she has a lot of secrets that he doesn’t know,” Reilly said. “So there is something that is under the surface that will one day, I’m sure, come, and she’s probably certain that she will lose him.”

    Reilly added that Beth feels “immense guilt” over the fact that she will never be able to have biological children with Rip, since her adopted brother Jamie (Wes Bentley) accidentally had a doctor give her a hysterectomy as a teenager, leaving her infertile for the rest of her life.

    “She cannot switch that part of herself off,” Reilly said, adding that “there’s a tremendous sadness in that.”

    Reilly predicted that this storyline is “coming home to roost,” and that Rip discovering this family secret could have dire consequences for not only Jamie but his and Beth’s relationship too.

    Luke Grimes has said his character Kayce will “step up” in the upcoming episodes.Luke Grimes as Kayce Dutton in “Yellowstone” season five.

    Paramount Network

    As John’s last surviving legitimate son, Kayce (Luke Grimes) is the obvious choice to inherit the sprawling cattle ranch. 

    According to Grimes, the fact that John asked Kayce to take over the day-to-day running of Yellowstone in the midseason finale suggests some exciting new developments in the upcoming episodes. 

    “I think this a huge moment for Kayce,” Grimes said. “It’s his legacy, and I’m honestly really excited about this chapter for Kayce and Monica, because I think we’re going to see a whole different side to them.”

    “Obviously it’s going to put him in a position where he has to take on a lot more than he probably has been comfortable with,” he continued. “With what John’s got to go do, it’s time for Kayce to step up.” 

    Costner said John’s decision to step into the world of politics will continue to play out in future episodes.Season five of “Yellowstone” saw John Dutton (Kevin Costner) elected governor of Montana.

    Paramount Network

    Costner also spoke about where the storylines are heading following season five’s midseason finale.

    In a Blu-ray and DVD featurette, Costner said that John’s decision to step into the world of politics and become governor of Montana “provides a little bit of drama” that will continue to play out in future episodes.

    “He’s not a very good politician. He’s a one-term politician, admittedly, so that makes him a little bit dicey for people to deal with,” Costner said, adding that the career pivot makes sense for his character because John would do anything to preserve his land and his legacy.

    “John has proven time and again that there’s nothing he won’t do to save the ranch even if that means in the twilight of his life, he takes a miserable job that’s going to dominate him for four years,” the actor said. “He didn’t want it to be that way, but that’s the way it was.”

    Stars of the show say the conclusion of “Yellowstone” could be bittersweet, but it could also be the “best series finale in history.”Kelly Reilly as Beth Dutton in “Yellowstone.”

    Paramount Network

    Reilly predicted how the show will end, but emphasized she doesn’t “have any insight into what’s going to happen,” as Sheridan has not shared scripts with her.

    “The main theme of protecting and sustaining this way of life in this land is the bottom of everything,” Reilly said in a behind-the-scenes clip. “So I don’t know which way it’s going to go, but we’re in season five, and who knows what’s in store.”

    She said of the show’s conclusion: “Though it will probably be beautiful and epic, I’m not sure it will be happy.”

    Her costar, Ian Bohen, recently echoed this last sentiment while speaking to Entertainment Tonight. Asked about the final run, he said: “The fans are going to get the [best] conclusion that could possibly be written.”

    He added: “I don’t know that any show has finished this strongly, ever. We’re expecting to have the best series finale in history. Overconfident maybe, but I think that’s what it’s going to be. We thank everyone for their patience. It’ll be worth the wait, I promise.”

    The remaining episodes of “Yellowstone” will begin airing in November 2024.Kelsey Asbille as Monica Long-Dutton in “Yellowstone.”

    Paramount Network

    Paramount announced that season five, part two of “Yellowstone” will begin airing on November 10 on Paramount Network. 

    The series finale — which is to say, the very last episode ever — could wind up on screens on Super Bowl Sunday, according to one of the show’s actors.

    CBS has also acquired the rights to run previous seasons of the Montana-set series and attracted millions more viewers.

    Paramount has also greenlighted two spinoff series, “1994” and “2024,” both of which will be produced by MTV Entertainment Studios and 101 Studios.

     

    Read the original article on Business Insider

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